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 by Timothy Robson

The historical frame around Francis Poulenc’s 1957 opera Dialogues des Carmelites is the French revolution, and the historically-based story revolves around a convent of Carmelite nuns near Paris during the Reign of Terror who were rounded up and executed at the guillotine for their religious beliefs.

The real subject of the opera is, however, the faith journey of one young nun, Blanche de la Force, daughter of a French aristocrat, who joins the convent to escape the real world. Her doubts cause her to abandon her sister nuns, yet she is redeemed at the end of the opera when she returns to join them in their final sacrifice.

The Cleveland Institute of Music opera department presented four performances (two performances each with double casting of the principals) from February 27-March 2, in Kulas Hall at CIM. David Bamberger was the stage director, and Harry Davidson was the guest conductor of the CIM orchestra. This report is based on the Thursday evening performance. Read the rest of this entry »

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